I am not sure if anyone noticed or not, but Reddit.com has removed the advanced search option from it’s site. I used to use advanced search strings like “(site:brentcsutoras.com)” to check if anyone had submitted my posts to Reddit.

When I hit my quick link and found an empty results page, I was a little concerned and figured it was a bug.

reddit-search.jpg

So I contacted Reddit, and David, the newest Reddit member, provided me some feedback.

Come to find out they removed it based on the lack of use and amount of work it would take for them to fix it due to some incompatibility with the new search format Reddit implemented.

“Advanced search was removed because the search logs showed that it was used only rarely, and because the new search queries are built in an incompatible way. So the options were to remove it, or to spend a lot of work building something that nobody would use”

The good thing is that advanced functions can still be used when search, they are just not as obvious through an “advanced search” link.

Here are some of the advanced options you can do when using the Reddit site search.

  • “search for this phrase” – will result any exact matches to the searched phrase
  • reddit-search-01.jpg

  • +”require these terms” – will require the results of the search to have the words in quotes present
  • reddit-search-021.jpg

  • -“exclude these terms” – will not display any results with the word in quotes present
  • reddit-search-03.jpg

  • “username” – will display results from a specific user (make sure you use capitalization where required as the search will not distinguish between lowercase and uppercase on username searches)
  • Incorrect usage:
    reddit-search-04.jpg
    Correct Usage:
    reddit-search-05.jpg

  • “website” – will display results from a specific website
  • reddit-search-06.jpg

So will the advanced search option ever return?

“Putting it back is an option if enough people ask for it, but it’s not a matter of “putting it back”, it’s a matter of builting a new one.”

Also it should be noted that the search results from any search on Reddit, are ordered by the most relevant.

“No. It turns out that finding the results of a search is a very easy problem to solve. If you look at the results from Google and Yahoo and MSN, or even AltaVista, they return basically the same results. The hard part is sorting them. Finding out which one is the most relevant. That’s where Google makes the big bucks, by figuring that out. Reddit has always been returning the right results, they’ve just not been in that great an order.

Google is tuned for keyword browsing. If you give them a set of keywords, they try to find that category for you, and show you that. Reddit’s new search is tuned to find you one result that you’re probably looking for, rather than a group of them.

It’s involved a bit of guesswork, and it’s not perfect (there are still some constants that I play with sometimes), but the sort that I’ve chosen is really tuned to find that one result.

Part of the choices that were made in sorting the results were that the algorithm really doesn’t make it easy to throw an alternative sort in there. They are heavily weighted for hotness, which takes into account both points on the article and the date that it was submitted. They could be weighted a little more heavily towards date, but it’s not (currently) that flexible at run-time — we decided what the user is looking for is a recent article that got enough points that they were likely to see it.”

Alexis (kn0thing) summed it up beautifully when he said “basically, the folks who want to search for the first ever Ron Paul submission will have to wait until the next search update).”

So even though the advanced search feature is removed, anyone with some basic search experience should be able to utilize the above search queries to better find what they want in Reddit.